Series I by I 08.05.15

Meet the directors ushering in a new age of DIY rap videos

As Bandcamp and SoundCloud usher in a new age of digital DIY, a new breed of filmmakers and visuals artists appear free of creative restrictions of the past.

Without the need for label platforms or sets, artists and videographers are free to self-produce inventive and strangely captivating pieces of video. Seize the moment: pick up a camera and shoot.

We spoke to some of the artists and directors from the UK and the US who characterize the movement: Awful Records’ rapper/producer/artist Slug Christ and producer/director Dexter Dukarus, Stormzy’s camera man Jaiden Ramgeet, and up-and-coming Virginia MC’s Cyrax and Lord Linco. Here is what they had to say about their recent videos.

Slug Christ: “We went to Miami to play a few shows down there. We went to the beach one evening while we were there, and it was just beautiful. Dexter was like “aye Slug lets shoot ‘I’m the Ocean’ right now!” and I was like “…letskeddit”.

“It was during Spring Break so there were like all these tourist people watching us, it was funny. It’s a real punk rock, fuck y’all bullshit ‘art direction pseudo-meaningful planned out shots with some dumb ass second message’ music video. We was just by the ocean and filmed that shit one shot. We were trying to show people you don’t need much to make something out of nothing, just be a yung god.”

Dexter Dukarus: “Sometimes I plan videos but most of the time it’s just spur of the moment. I’ve never had any sort of restrictions on the art I make. When you are forced to create with limited tools it naturally tests your creativity. In the ‘Im the Ocean’ video, I just asked Slug if he wanted to shoot it then and there and we did. Usually the one-take videos I shoot are spontaneous, some have plans but nothing really thought out too much. I’ll probably do something more complex soon.”

Jaiden Ramgeet: “Things did go wrong on day of the shoot, Stormzy thought it would be incredibly easy to do a one-take video in comparison to our previous work – little did he know he couldn’t have made a worse judgement. I was running back for the entire shoot; trying to fit Stormzy’s mum in the same shot as him was one of the hardest tasks as he’s a giant and she’s not the tallest. Stormzy gets moody very quickly when things don’t go according to the way he has them in his head. But despite that it was a very nice day. Creativity captivates and captivation is unique so it sells.”

Lord Linco: “It’s weird man. I’m impulsive as hell, I tend to act on my gut feelings 90% of the time. The song ‘Lavender’ was still kind of new and it was a nice day out, so why not go to the overlook of the city and shoot. Why not ride my bike. Why think so hard all of the time? Just go have fun.”

Cyrax: “I was just chillin’ with my friends. We were planning to shoot a video for that song and we always go to that corner store so we decided to shoot the whole thing there. The people who work there fuck with us so it was all cool. The best ideas are spur of the moment, in today’s time you just gotta get out and do it. People be overthinking shit and it look corny. I ain’t interested in no labels right now I just wanna create freely with my team Divine Council.”

Watch FACT TV’s playlist of the best new DIY videos below:

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